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Better Access to Public School Activities Passes
Scott Woodruff answers questions and assists members regarding legal issues in Maine. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>
Many Maine homeschool families operate within the structure of a small “recognized” private school, that is, a school that follows the Commissioner of Education’s guidelines for being recognized as providing equivalent instruction. (Larger private schools usually seek “approval” rather than “recognition.”)
In 2011, the Maine Legislature enacted a law giving students in recognized private schools access to public school co-curricular, extracurricular, and interscholastic activities. But the law also gave public school principals the power to reject a student’s access request for virtually any reason. Representative Joyce A. Maker (Calais) wanted to change that.
She filed a bill, LD 92, to prevent public school principals from arbitrarily turning down access requests from students enrolled in recognized private schools. HSLDA and Homeschoolers of Maine worked with Rep. Maker to fine-tune the language.
On July 9 the bill passed both houses of the Maine Legislature, and on July 22 the governor signed it. Homeschool students in recognized schools will now be entitled to participate in the public school activities listed above. The new law gives the principal authority to deny access only if the public school does not have the capacity for the student to participate.
We appreciate Rep. Maker’s successful work in putting a stop to arbitrary rejection of student requests to participate in public school activities.
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